TIATTO TO GO?
By Rupert Webster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The emergance of Tiatto has been one of the few plusses for Joe Royle's side, in what has otherwise been a desperately disappointing campaign. Many fans expected the Citizens to be a real force in the Premiership after their emotional return this season, but the side have failed to live up to expectations.
Too many of the clubs' so called 'star players' have failed to shine consistently. Mark Kennedy has not recaptured the form that made him the first division's most feared winger last term, Paulo Wanchope has been at war with the club virtually since his arrival from West Ham, and George Weah left for Marseille just a handful of games after signing for City.
However, despite having a more workmanlike attitude than the flair players at Maine Road, Tiatto has won over the fans with a series of determined displays down the left flank.
Tiatto's athleticism has seen him embark on 156 dribbles this season, which is more than any other player at the club, as well as being the 11th highest total in the division.
And when the Australian has got into attacking positions, his use of the ball has been exemplary. Tiatto has fired in 30 shots, scoring twice, and he has also shown his creative side by setting up three goals for colleagues.
But perhaps most importantly, Tiatto's attacking tendencies have not prevented him from contributing decisively to City's overworked defence. Indeed, he has gone in for 111 challenges this term - making the 28-year-old the club's top tackler and the 11th most prolific in the Premiership.
Tiatto has clearly shown himself to be a quality performer in only his first season in the top flight, and there should be no shortage of clubs after his services in the summer months. West Ham and Aston Villa both reportedly made £4m bids following City's relegation on Monday, and with the Citizens set to lose in excess of £15m due to the loss of their Premiership status, they may be forced to cash in on Tiatto to balance their books.